Pasta tossed with crispy bacon, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and a spicy ranch sauce! My kids LOVE this Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta. And it’s ready in about 30 minutes!
Originally published September 15, 2011. Updated July, 22, 2021.
This is an old favorite recipe that I’ve literally been making for 10 years. It’s got everything my family loves: bacon, cheese, ranch, and a little bit of spice!
It’s also such an easy recipe that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes which is extra important now that we’re headed back to school in the next couple weeks.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Spicy Ranch Dry Salad Dressing mix
- Parmesan cheese – I like to stir grated Parmesan into the sauce and put extra shredded Parmesan on top of the finished pasta
- Pasta – I used penne but you can use shells, rotini, any kind of small pasta
- Cook pasta according to package instructions; strain and set aside
- In a large skillet, cook diced bacon until crisp; remove to a paper-towel lined plate and pour off all about 1 tablespoon bacon fat
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook in the bacon fat until all sides are browned and chicken is cooked through; transfer to the plate with the bacon
- Add enough oil to the skillet to equal about 2 tbsp
- Whisk in flour and spicy ranch dressing mix
- Slowly whisk in milk until the mixture is smooth
- Bring milk mixture to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened
- Remove from heat and stir in bacon, chicken, and Parmesan cheese
- Add pasta and toss to combine
- Serve with extra Parmesan on top
How Long Is It Good For?
This Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta will be fine in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container (these glass containers are my favorite!) to keep it fresh for as long as possible.
The bacon will soften the longer it sits in the fridge, though, so keep that in mind.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze this pasta! It will be fine in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to use a super airtight freezer-safe container. I like the big freezer ziploc bags for pastas like this.
When you’re ready to serve it, let the container of pasta defrost overnight in the fridge and then you can reheat on the stove. If it’s a little too thick, add water or chicken broth to loosen the sauce up a bit.
Tips and Tricks
- I will often buy a rotisserie chicken and skip having to cook the chicken for this dish. It turns it from a 30 minute meal to about 15 minutes!
- The spicy ranch packet isn’t super spicy but if your family isn’t a fan of spice at all, use the regular ranch packets!
- If you can’t find the spicy ranch mix and want it spicy, try adding ¼ – ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Or order the spicy one online!
What To Serve with Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta
I like to serve a simple side salad with this pasta. They are nice and cooling to go with the spice. You could also do celery sticks, carrots, or sliced cucumbers if you want the cooling effect.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
- Bacon Tortellini Bake
- Sour Cream Noodle Bake
- Chili Mac Casserole
- Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- One Pot Cheeseburger Mac
- Four Cheese Spaghetti
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- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 package Spicy Ranch Dry Salad Dressing mix
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- 1 pound pasta (ziti, rotini, shells, whatever you like)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until nice and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add it to the hot skillet. Cook thoroughly, making sure all sides of the chicken brown. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the bacon.
- In the same skillet (add olive oil to get to about 2 tablespoon oil), sprinkle in the flour and Spicy Ranch Dry Salad Dressing mix and whisk constantly for about a minute. Pour in the milk, while whisking. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for a couple minutes, until it thickens.
- Add the chicken, bacon, and Parmesan and stir until the Parmesan melts.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce; stir to combine
- Serve with extra Parmesan.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g